The Federal Government has expressed the hope that the ban on Nigeria agricultural commodities by the European Union, United States of America, will be lifted.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said this during the briefing by the Standing Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee (SIMTC) on Agro Zero Reject Initiative on Thursday in Abuja.
The SIMTC was inaugurated on Feb. 28, 2021, with the mandate of ensuring that the ban by European Union (EU), on export of Nigerian beans was lifted and that Nigeria never again suffer any reject on her agro commodities in the export market.
It would be recalled that in 2015, the EU banned importation of Nigerian beans on account of containing high level of pesticide, considered harmful to health.
The minister made the statement based on the current effort of the committee to ensure Nigerian agricultural produce were accepted at the international market.
Abubakar, after being briefed by the SIMTC, said Nigeria’s potential on agricultural commodities export was huge, adding that the Nigeria Integrated Export Control Plan (IECP), should be put together meticulously.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria cannot realise its potential unless we do the right thing; work together first of all, and also realise and understand dealing with other agencies, private sector and governments across the world.
“It is not an easy task doing export business, there are a lot of regulations, and unless you start by putting your own home well, you will not be able to work outside.
“If we want to make headway we must come down and learn to work with one another, and that really needs to be done to achieve success.
“It is not about trading but getting Nigeria out of being banned from Europe, America and other countries.
“We should have seamless export transaction. We will do what it takes to do the right thing,” the minister said.
He commended the inter-ministerial committee for working hard to put the document (Action Plan) together.
Abubakar also lauded development partners for ensuring the document was put together whereby it would lift the ban on Nigeria’s agricultural commodities export.
Earlier, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, said the essence of the SIMTC, which was inaugurated on Feb. 28, 2021, was to ensure that the ban by the EU on export of Nigerian beans was lifted.
Also that Nigeria never, again, suffer any reject of our agro commodities in the export market,” he said.
“Before the ban, several unheeded notifications were sent to Nigerian authorities.
“To lift the ban, EU wanted Nigeria to control her export and provide substantial evidence that the necessary food safety requirements and protocols are put in place,” he said.
He said the IECP is a 5-year action plan to all the Sanitary and Phyto- Sanitary (SPS) agencies and critical stakeholders.
“Also, to provide substantive guarantee required by EU that the SPS bodies in Nigeria put Food Safety protocols in place in line with the International Standard.
“Few private companies have agreed to key into the implementation of the pilot Action Plan that would get the ban on our beans lifted and pave way for admitting Nigeria produce for export,” he said.